What a treat tonight! Mark Thompson got to talk with actor John Savage about his role on 'Seal Team' tonight!
It's hard to imagine that John Savage's role which made him a household name was nearly 40 years ago...and that his body of work has endured, become stronger and more diverse. Praised for his range and sensitivity, John's blonde rugged looks helped viewers connect even more easily to his powerful performances. Savage is best known for his breakout role of 'Steven' in the multi-Oscar winning landmark feature, The Deer Hunter (1978), the story of a group of Russian American steel workers during the Vietnam War. Fast forward to this year's critically lauded performance in Todd Robinson's film The Last Full Measure and then this spring's exceptional turn on CBS' hit primetime series, Seal Team, and Savage is a top contender for a 2020 Emmy nomination as Guest Actor, Drama Series.
Deer Hunter led to the lead role in 1979's The Onion Field, the true story of policeman Karl Hettinger's personal struggle after witnessing the murder of his partner. It wasn't long before he was cast in landmark films including Oliver Stone's Salvador and Francis Ford Coppola's The Godfather: Part III in place of Robert Duvall (who refused to appear due to a salary dispute). During the late 80s, Savage threw his star power behind the anti-apartheid struggle in South Africa serving as producer -- along with Spike Lee -- on Malcolm X. A long, close friendship has endured with talk of collaboration on a forthcoming project.
One of his most famous roles was as Claude Bukowski in the film Hair (1979). He had a brief role in Terrence Malick's war film, The Thin Red Line. In the late 1970s, he also appeared on Broadway in David Mamet's Tony nominated play, American Buffalo, with Robert Duvall.
John's small screen starring roles included the recurring character of 'Donald Lydecker' in the first and second seasons of Dark Angel and as 'Captain Ransom' in the two-part episode "Equinox" from Star Trek: Voyager. He earned kudos as 'Henry Scudder' on HBO's Carnivàle, opposite Billy Bob Thorton in Goliath on Amazon, on David Lynch's extended Twin Peaks (Showtime) mini-series last year. Additional tv credits include Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (NBC) and the Fox network drama Fringe earning newfound fans.
He shifted gears for the well-received The Lookalike in 2018 in which he played the pivotal character opposite Jerry O'Connell in the psychological thriller. After the 2018 James Franco film, In Dubious Battle, John reemerged in a riveting role he became well known for, Vietnam vet coping with a changing world in Todd Robinson's long awaited war hero drama, The Last Full Measure (Roadside Attractions) alongside Sebastian Stan, Samuel L. Jackson, William Hurt, Christopher Plummer, Ed Harris, Bradley Whitford, Diane Ladd and Peter Fonda. His showstopping performance as 'Kepper,' a Vietnam vet who fights against reliving the tortured past to grapple with enjoy life on life's terms in the 21st century. The compelling film hit theaters in late January to rave reviews and has gained synergy in its recent DVD and streaming release.
Savage resides in LA and is the father of artist Lachlan Youngs and actress/singer/songwriter Jennifer Youngs. In between back-to-back movie roles, John spends his time with numerous charities including those which champion human rights as well as the Wounded Warriors, the Los Angeles Mission, Friendly House LA and several others.
Listen to his conversation with Mark Thompson below: